Fresh Creamed Corn

This is not your mama's can of creamed corn! Instead, it's my long-time recipe for homemade creamed corn, full of summer's best fresh corn sweetness and real corn kernels, accented with fresh rosemary or fresh lavender. This is absolutely gorgeous, a must-make recipe when summer's sweet corn is at its finest.

Fresh Creamed Corn ♥ How to make creamed corn from scratch with fresh corn and rosemary. Nothing like canned creamed corn!

Creamed Corn, Made from Scratch & Nothing Like Canned Creamed Corn. Real Food, Fresh & Inventive. A Summer Classic. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Easy DIY. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. What're you waiting for?!

  • "OMG so delicious!" ~ Jan

Family Talk at the Table

Families sometimes give special names to special foods and even not-so-special but favorite dishes.

  • Alphabet Names: Ask for HMO when you’d like my friend Elise to cook up hamburger with macaroni and onions.
  • Toddler Names: Ask for a POO-bah FA-fa in my once-baby sister’s lingo and you’ll get a peanut butter sandwich.

As a kid, my personal Deluxe was mashed potatoes topped by creamed corn poured from a can, my mother’s attempt to extend leftovers with an incongruous air of haute. I loved that comfort-food combination of mashed potatoes 'n' creamed corn then. Truth be told, I still do!

Re-Discovering the Fresh Versions

As an adult, a cook and a foodie, however, I revel in discovering fresh versions of vegetables once known in their less-than-fresh forms.

Fresh Creamed Corn is n-o-t-h-i-n-g like the toothless stuff from a can. The kernels are plump and full of corn flavor. It's a luxurious side vegetable all on its own, no mashed potatoes required and yes indeed, totally deluxe.

Tired of the same old corn? Find inspiration in this collection of Corn Recipes ♥, ranging from simple for every day and special for occasions.

Calling All Sweet Corn Lovers!

Who loves fresh sweet corn the most? Midwesterners? Southerners? Everyone in the whole wide world?!

I'm not sure but put me on the list and hey, I hope you'll add your name too.

At A Veggie Venture, I collect all the corn recipes from both there and Kitchen Parade, check out all the Corn Recipes!

For quick meals, I just throw fresh raw corn kernels into salads and vegetable hashes and really, just about anything that emerges from my kitchen during July and August.

For easy weekday dinners, it's super-easy to just throw an ear or two into the microwave, Quick Microwave Sweet Corn or if the grill's hot, then this works too, Grilled Sweet Corn.

There's even a microwave version of Fresh Creamed Corn, it's Microwave Summer Cream Corn.

And here are a few more ideas for corn lovers, recipes I won't let the season pass without making at least once!

What's In Fresh Creamed Corn? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Fresh Sweet Corn When I lived in Iowa as a teenager and young adult, the goal was to get sweet corn a-cookin' within five minutes of a-pickin'. So use the freshest corn you can find from your favorite farmers market, farmstand or CSA. But no stress if your corn comes from the grocery store because in July and August, all the corn is fresh!
  • A Little Onion It's finely chopped and cooked in bacon fat (if you keep it on hand) or butter.
  • A Little Cornmeal Use fine-grained yellow cornmeal, it thickens the corn just a bit.
  • A Little Turmeric Even a small measure of turmeric give Fresh Creamed Corn a gorgeous corn color, otherwise the dish will be a little pale and may not "look" like the corn we expect.
  • A Little Sugar It's just a tablespoon and yes, it makes a difference. But if you're avoiding sugar, no problem, leave it out because yes, it's just a tablespoon and it does make a difference but isn't essential.
  • A Little Fresh Rosemary A touch of herb-iness really makes a difference here. I also like fresh lavender as well.
  • Whole Milk Half & half also works well. To my taste, heavy cream is way too rich.
  • Salt & Pepper To my taste, a generous amount of pepper is important in Fresh Creamed Corn.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • What about using frozen corn? That would be a hard No. Fresh Creamed Corn is all about the corn. "Could" you make it with frozen corn? Sure. But "should" you? Not if you're after a side dish that's special and summery ...

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most iluminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Buy Corn Still In the Husks Do buy ears of corn still in their husks. What are husks? Those are the leaves that wrap around the ears, preventing the kernels from drying out.

Use Fine-Grained Cornmeal Typical stone-ground cornmeal is too rough for Fresh Creamed Corn. It doesn't have enough time to cook through so leaves a grainy texture. In contrast, the fine "yellow cornmeal" that's sold in small cardboard containers makes a wonderful gluten-free thickener.

Don't Skip the Rosemary or Lavender My recipes often include a twist that moves a dish from "good" to "great". For this recipe, it's the rosemary.

Don't Skip the Turmeric We "eat first" with our eyes, they say, and turmeric gives Fresh Creamed Corn that distinctive golden color we expect from corn. That said, it's optional, taste-wise.

What Makes This Recipe Special

  • It's an easy summer-y side dish.
  • You can actually taste the corn!
  • It has wonderful texture, including actual corn kernels.
  • It has this old-fashioned sensibility but feels fresh and contemporary.
  • Gorgeous color!
  • People love it!
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for a summer corn side dish hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Fresh Creamed Corn ♥ How to DIY creamed corn with fresh corn and rosemary. Homemade and nothing like canned creamed corn!


Hand-on time: 20 minutes (mostly husking)
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes about 4 cups (easy to halve or double or otherwise scale)
  • 8 ears fresh corn to yield about 4 cups corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or butter
  • 1/2 an onion, diced small
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or curry powder, for color only so optional)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary or fresh lavender, optional
  • 1 cup whole milk (see TIPS)
  • Salt & especially pepper to taste

PREP THE CORN Leaving the stems on for handles, husk the corn (see TIPS). Then cut the kernels off the ears. (How? With one hand, hold an ear tip-down in center of a large bowl. With a knife, slice off swaths of corn kernels top to bottom.) When the kernels are off, "milk" the ear. (How? Use the knife’s dull edge to scrape the cob top to bottom on all sides, collecting remaining pulp and milk in the bowl. (See RESOURCES, below, for more info on these steps.)

COOK THE ONION In a large skillet, melt the bacon fat on medium heat until shimmery. Add the onion and cook gently til translucent (see TIPS).

COOK THE CORN Add the corn and salt, cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often, just until the liquid begins to cook off.

Stir in the sugar, turmeric, cornmeal and rosemary or lavender.

Add the milk and cook until the corn is soft, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove the rosemary or lavender, then season to taste.

Serve and savor, immediately or if you like, make an hour or two in advance and gently rewarm.

RESOURCES All that corn prep? To "husk" corn is to remove the outer inedible leaves and silk. Husking is a messy job, one best done on the back step or with newspaper lining the sink. I call the scraping technique "milking" the cob. It bumps up the sweet corn flavor. If step-by-step photos will help, check out How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk".
ALANNA's TIPS The yellow cornmeal acts as a thickener but I suppose, a tablespoon of flour would work too. Unfortunately, the stone-ground cornmeal that makes the best cornbread just doesn't work, it's too coarse and grainy and isn't on the stove long enough to cook through. I've learned to keep both yellow cornmeal and stone-ground cornmeal on hand, they serve different purposes. Half & half may be substituted for milk but at least to my taste, cream is too rich. To gently cook onions until they’re translucent, without browning, is called "sweating". The leftovers reheat beautifully so don't hesitate to make a big batch. Leftover Fresh Creamed Corn will keep for several days.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 174 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 4mg Cholesterol; 34mg Sodium; 33g Carb; 4g Fiber; 8g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 2 & myWW green 6 & blue 2 & purple 2 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/3 cup (3g protein).
Adapted from Better Than Grannie's Creamed Corn from Alton Brown where cooks describe the recipe with words like "excellent" and "divine". That recipe, however, has been "Alanna-sized".

For Local Print Readers

Back in 2008, this was Kitchen Parade's last column to appear in print in my local papers as the owners tightened their belts to face a weak economy. It was a thrill to write for a local audience, to hear from readers touched by the stories or inspired by the recipes, to carry on the print column my mom started way back in 1959.

I wrote then, "Thank you, readers. And thanks to Dwight and Don and all the staff at the papers. I wish you the very best."

But the bigger news in 2008 was that I decided to continue to publish recipes online at Why?

  • Well, I'd already written nearly a year's worth of new columns. Imagine being a whole year ahead!
  • And I was also already sharing online only recipes, family favorites like my Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake and Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce.
  • And just like today, e-mail subscriptions were free, just sign up to receive recipes via e-mail. There’s no distinctive red bag but "home delivery" via email was and is free, just like the local newspapers.

And this still applies, too.

Once you're subscribed, watch your InBox for more recipes with that special Kitchen Parade style: fresh and seasonal ingredients; classic recipes, though often with a twist and often simplified; real ingredients, especially pantry ingredients; an emphasis on getting supper on the table; recipes for family gatherings and special occasions.

Plus there are occasional extras, right now I'm giving extra thought to How to Save Money on Groceries.

More Recipes for Summer's Best Sweet Corn

~ corn recipes ~
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad ♥, simple in name but much more than the sum of its parts, this is a classic summer salad.

Summer's Best Corn Chowder, a classic summer soup ♥, packed with our favorite fresh and seasonal summer vegetables. Great for Meal Prep.
Sweet Corn Relish, perfect for summer sandwiches and salads ♥ No canning required. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep & Summer Food Gifts. WW Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ corn recipes ~
~ cornmeal ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2008, 2010, 2019 & 2022 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/25/2008

    Once again, Alanna, you amaze me. I would never ever think to make creamed corn. The canned corn is just too awful. This looks beautiful, the color especially.

  2. Anonymous7/25/2008

    The corn looks just great. Our farmers market will have corn tomorrow.

  3. Oh, Alanna! I'm so sorry about the papers cancelling your wonderful column. I hope their readers complain loudly and profusely and they re-up your contract.

    In re the corn: cornmeal?!? Seriously?? I've never seen that ingredient in any creamed corn recipe I've had. Wouldn't it be "grainy"? Interesting...veeery interesting.

  4. Cara ~ isn't the color just so pretty?!

    Anonymous ~ timing is everything!

    Sally ~ thank you, friend. I'm broken-hearted about it, for sure. But it's also helped me think through how to expand Kitchen Parade online and of course, there's irony that so much content is moving online (not just recipes but everything) and that is one of the very pressures the papers are experiencing.

    As for the cornmeal, it acts as a slight thickener (think polenta) which further separates the consistency from canned cream corn. That said, I did test with my favorite stone-ground cornmeal and yes, it IS too grainy. So just the plain yellow cornmeal is the trick, although optional.

  5. I love creamed corn too, but definitely not the stuff in a can. :P HAS to be homemade! Great recipe!

  6. Anonymous7/28/2008

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    I boiled up the remaining ears of our Delaware farmer's market corn before it got too old, then noticed I had all the ingredients for my mom's corn casserole. Voila-scrape the kernels off the cobs, mix with Jiffy cornmeal muffin mix, eggs, butter, a can of creamed corn, substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream and bake. Presto! Fresh tasting, used up pantry ingredients, and got side dishes for a few nights.
    I even made it this morning when it was cooler, and will nuke to reheat for dinner.

    (Yes, I realize I am commenting about a recipe I didn't even bother to make, but you INSPIRED me to update an old favorite, so thanks!)

    I think it's terrible that your column will only be online, but I'm glad you're still online!

  7. Anonymous8/20/2008

    Each week, the item in the Webster-Kirkwood Times that I looked forward to the most was your "Kitchen Parade" column. Just reading the columns was enjoyable, and I usually clipped them with the intention of preparing the recipes. And I was a little surprised when your creamed corn column started out with praise of local newspapers. I was much disappointed when I read that it was to be your last column. From this reader's point of view, management at the Times made an error in judgment.

    Fortunately, website technology means that I won't have to stop being your reader altogether. And it's ironic, too, in that the very same application of technology is contributing to the cost squeeze that you (so generously) mention as forcing newspaper management to make tough choices.

  8. Your recipe calls for 2 T yellow cornmeal - NOT STONE-GROUND. Why *not* stone-ground? Please enlighten me here...

  9. Hi Heidi ~ I don't remember specifically but when I state something so strongly, it's because it didn't work. My suspicion is that there's just not enough time for the cornmeal to cook (same thing with grits, some times) and that the texture is too coarse. I didn't used to make the distinction but once I started using stone-ground so much (and have it more usually on hand) so I've learned the hard way!

  10. I should just get a meal planner from you! Tonight we fixed the creamed corn! OMG so delicious!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna